I posted about this once before in a related thread, but I've since acquired more knowledge and I thought it would be nice to share it here, both as future reference for myself and for others who are facing this problem.
The problem is that when trying to open or save a file with QWS, NVDA cannot read the files/folders you're focused on. I don't know precisely why this happens, but there is a workaround. Basically, what you have to do is hide the common places bar to essentially revert back to the Windows XP open/save dialog.
There are two ways to disable the common places bar. You can either use the group policy editor, or edit the registry. I will cover both here, but just be very careful. Don't mindlessly mess with the registry or group policy editor, just follow the below steps. You can trust me; I just did this today on a brand new machine and I have no interest in turning it into a brick.
With that out of the way, here are the instructions.
Method 1: group policy editor
If you are on Windows 10 pro, you can use Group Policy editor. Follow these steps:
1. Press windows+R to get to the run dialog and type gpedit.msc. If user account control comes up, press the yes button (alt y should work).
2. In the group policy editor, find the tree view and navigate to local group policy > user configuration > administrative templates > Windows components > file explorer > common open file dialog. Then tab to the list box and find hide the common places bar.
3. Press enter and you will be in a new dialog. Tab to the radio buttons and change disabled to enabled.
4. Press OK and close the group policy editor.
5. Reboot. Now open/save dialogs in QWS should read well.
Method 2: registry.
If you're on windows 10 home which doesn't have the group policy editor, or you otherwise don't have access to it, you'll have to use the registry. Follow these steps:
1. Press windows+R to get to the run dialog and type regedit. If user account control comes up, press the yes button (alt y should work).
2. In the registry editor, navigate to this path:
Note: Later versions of Windows contain an edit field in the registry editor, where you can type/paste a path. If you have this edit field, simply paste the above path into it and hit enter, and you'll instantly jump there. If you don't have the edit field, you'll have to navigate manually.
3. Press alt e to go to the edit menu, n for new, then k for key. You will be asked for the new key's name. Type Comdlg32
4. In the tree view, you should see Comdlg32 inside the policies folder. Make sure you're focused on Comdlg32, then tab to the list box. Hit alt e, n, d to create a new DWORD 32-bit value. You will be asked for the new DWORD's name. Type NoPlacesBar
5. Now find NoPlacesBar in the list box, hit enter on it and type 1.
6. Reboot. Now open/save dialogs in QWS should read well.
And that's it! Hopefully this is useful to someone.
BTW I found the registry procedure here and can confirm it works. The group policy procedure was found by experimentation.
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